Wilbur Ross, who served as Secretary of Commerce under former President Donald Trump, has created a special purpose acquisition company that aims to profit from the next industrial revolution.
The SPAC, Ross Acquisition Corp. II, disclosed in a regulatory filing Tuesday that Larry Kudlow, who served as Trump’s director of the National Economic Council, is part of its management team. Ross is the blank-check company’s president, chairman and chief executive officer, while Kudlow is one of three board directors, the filing shows.
Ross Acquisition Corp. II plans to raise $300 million through an initial public offering to help finance an acquisition of a company in a sector undergoing transformation, such as electric or autonomous cars, energy storage, automated manufacturing, or space traffic management, according to the filing.
“Traditional industry, and with it, global trade, is being transformed and disrupted by the fourth industrial revolution,” the SPAC said in the preliminary prospectus for the IPO. “Our target companies will be on the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution and use new technologies, coupled with a social and environmental mindset, to reshape their traditional industry or be companies which are the change agents themselves.”
Ross, who founded distressed private equity firm WL Ross & Co. in 2000, is riding the large wave of SPACs that has surged into this year. Ross Acquisition Corp. II’s head of mergers and acquisitions is Nadim Qureshi, a co-founder of private equity firm Broadpeak Global who had been a managing director at WL Ross, according to the regulatory filing.
Stephen Toy, who also co-founded Broadpeak and was a senior managing director at WL Ross, will serve as chief financial officer of the SPAC, the filing shows. Along with Kudlow, Ross Acquisition Corp. II’s directors include William Astor, who served in the governments of U.K. Prime Ministers Margret Thatcher and John Major, and Yale University business professor Edward Snyder.
The SPAC, which is controlled by Ross, Toy and Qureshi, will seek a business combination within two years of its IPO, according to the filing. Bank of America Corp. is underwriting the offering.
This is not Ross’s first blank-check company, having raised one before becoming the Secretary of Commerce in 2017. His previous SPAC, WL Ross Holding Corp., bought chemical and plastics Nexeo Solutions in 2016, according to the filing.